If you have warm drafts through your home and enormous electricity bills over the summer, your windows may be to blame. As a leading provider of windows for southeastern Louisiana, this is our guide to choosing the best windows for hot climates.
Is it time to make the switch?
A window is an important part of your home. Besides looking great and letting natural light in, it plays a huge role in keeping warm air in during cold winter months. More importantly, though, the best windows for hot climates also keep heat out during hot summers. Less heat in your home means less cooling costs for electricity and a more comfortable home overall.
As we discussed in an earlier post, homes lose up to 30% of their energy through air leaking around windows and doors. Replacing windows that are ten years or older can lower your energy bills by up to 15% per year. This is especially true for homes with single-pane or even standard double-paned clear-glass windows. An ENERGY STARTM study found that switching these types of windows to energy-efficient ones can save homeowners over $450 a year.
Whether you're trying to reduce your monthly energy costs or your old windows have become unsafe, it may be time to look at replacement windows for your home. If you live in the hot and humid climate of southeast Louisiana, look for these elements in your replacement windows for the best protection, energy efficiency, and comfort.
Start with the frame, and go with vinyl
The best windows for hot climates offer superior protection from the elements, avoiding any leakage or warm drafts that can happen with older windows.
A common cause of these drafts can come down to the frames themselves. Too often, wooden frames are used in hot, humid climates. These frames can rot or warp over time.
Instead, choose high-quality vinyl window frames. These outperform every other type of frame in a hot, humid climate, as we explained in detail in an earlier post.
The best windows for hot climates are made in hot climates
Next, do you know where your window was manufactured? You might be wondering why that matters, but it's a crucial element to finding the best windows for southeast Louisiana and similar climates.
When looking at window manufacturers and design, you'll realize a lot of windows are manufactured for broad distribution across the United States and mild climates. Unfortunately, this leaves a few problems when you consider our extreme climate. Southeast Louisiana faces 100-degree summers, high humidity, and moisture, as well as our sometimes-turbulent storm seasons.
One simple example of this is the location and quality of E-glass used in your window. E-glass is a surface on your glass that reflects infrared light (heat). It's an important feature for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, some manufacturers put the E-glass surface facing inside to keep heat in. This makes sense for climates with typically colder air, like the Midwest or northern states. Not so for our hot climate. In a climate up north, the majority of your annual utility bill is spent keeping your house warm, so E-glass is not as important and thus might not be a priority for those manufactures to have the best performing E glass possible. In the south, the vast majority of your annual utility bill is spent cooling your house, so blocking heat gain from the sun may possibly be the single most important stat a window can provide, thus it should be priority number 1 as LAS treats it.
Through the years, our staff engineers at LAS Shutters + Windows have tweaked our window design over and over to stand up to our southeastern Louisiana climate. At LAS, we put the E-glass facing out. Think about the temperature in your car during summer when all of the windows have been rolled up for a few hours. Would you want the E-glass facing the interior of your car and keeping the heat in or facing the outside to keep the heat out?
Finding a local manufacturer is important because they know and design for your unique climate.
Look for high-quality E-glass
Similarly, the quality of the E-glass in your window is also important. All E-glass is not created equal.
At LAS, for example, we exclusively use a soft-coat, clear low E-glass that possesses the most impressive insulating attributes on the market today. This particular E-glass surpasses, by far, the performance of any other solar control low E-glass on the market today while still maintaining 50% light transmittance. You can learn more about E-glass in our guide on the topic.
If you're looking for the best windows for hot climates, this attention to materials makes a huge difference. It's why our ENERGY STARTM rating exceeds the southern U.S. requirements by 30%.
LAS Window Manufacturing and Installation
Since we design, manufacture, install, and warrant our windows, we work towards constant and continuous improvement for our customers. When we begin to see problems or flaws in the design, our engineers go back to the drawing board and modify them. In that way, we create the best windows for hot climates like southeastern Louisiana.
For more information about our windows, or to get a free estimate, contact us today.
Originally posted on May 12, 2014.